Geum Yi

U.S. House votes to remove Speaker McCarthy after pushback over stopgap spending measure

October 4, 2023

The U.S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday to unseat Speaker Kevin McCarthy in an unprecedented ouster following a backlash from Republican hardliners over the weekend passage of a stopgap measure meant to avert a government shutdown.

The House voted to remove the Republican speaker from the post 216-210, casting clouds over the proceedings of the lower chamber saddled with piles of tasks, including addressing differences over budget issues and assistance for Ukraine.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) pressed ahead with the “motion to vacate,” leaving the House rudderless.

Following the vote, McCarthy said he would not run for speaker again.

“Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, but it is necessary,” he told reporters. “I don’t regret standing up for choosing governance over grievance. It’s my responsibility.”

On Saturday, McCarthy spearheaded the passage of a last-ditch measure to keep the government open through mid-November — a move that hard-right Republicans decried as siding with Democrats.

Before the temporary measure was endorsed, the Joe Biden administration had braced for a potential government shutdown that would allow only essential personnel to work without pay, in what critics say would be a show of legislative dysfunction.